Posts from August, 2006

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Wedding: And now for something completely different …

Monday, 28 August 2006


Bet you thought we forgot about updating the blog. Sadly, not the case. Instead, we did exactly what all couples with 18 months to plan a wedding do: we procrastinated for two and a half months … and then changed our minds.

About a week ago — when it was 411 days and counting — The Lady Sparkler and I had what we like to refer to as a “come to Jesus” conversation. In it, she admitted that she had some doubts about Clifton, and would really like to think about an option (a “Plan B” if you will) within the DC city limits.

I said, “Aww shucks sweetie pie, half the reason we had decided on Clifton was that you liked it so much … If that’s not the case, why don’t we start looking around for options in DC!” (For the record, that was pretty close to what I said … 30 minutes of “inconsequential minutia” has been edited for length.)

The first lego in the “Plan B” construction was already in place. The Lady Sparkler is a member of the historic Foundry Methodist Church at 16th and P, and was keen to try and pull off a wedding there. In fact, Foundry is the home church of the minister that she was going to cajole into doing our service in Clifton, so it actually simplified a step.

The church is stunning inside (and recently renovated!) Seating 450 of our closest friends, it has a soaring dome and some of the best stained glass in DC. It is also arguably the most progressive church in DC, which means we can get in and out without complaining about the sermon (which is apparently something noteworthy if you are a Democrat in Texas, or so I have heard.)

We did a little research over the weekend, and the church was available … if only we could find some place to do an brunch — it’s remarkably hard to find breakfast places in DC, but that is another tale — with eggs & bacon nearby! (Stick with me, there is a happy ending.)

Over the course of two days, The Lady Sparkler did some research, found a place half a block from the church, organized (& executed) a small drinking expedition to scout the location and then setup a meeting with the Director of Catering (and yours truly) for this past Thursday. BTW, someone in this story was once an event planner … you make the call.

The restaurant — 15 RIA — is located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue (where DO they get those crazy names?!?) It is a posh, trendy little place best known for its modern decor, great “Continental Cuisine” and it’s head chef … who was just plucked from The Greenbrier resort in White Sulfer Springs (the fancy resort with the underground Congress bunker).

The reception space was beautiful (and recently renovated! see courtyard, indoor pictures on the right) and the menu was even better … French Toast with Warm Maple Syrup, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Sausage, Penne with Rock Shrimp and Tomato Pesto, fresh cooked Omelets and Eggs any style, etc. It turns out the place is actually the entire ground floor of a Hilton Doubletree hotel, which means in this scenario the church, hotel and reception place are literally right on top of each other.

So, there we stand. It’s a pretty safe to say that this plan, formerly known as “Plan B,” is now the top choice and Clifton (whose church STILL won’t let us know if we can get married there in 2007) has now been relegated to the second tier.

404 days to go, and we’ll keep you posted.

wedding in:


Travel: Isle of Shoals, Maine

Saturday, 19 August 2006

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second consecutive day on the water … this time on a “blow boat” with friends of the family (who are also my 59th cousins 326 times removed). we went out to the Isle of Shoals, a group of nine small islands about 7 miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

During the 1700’s, there was a town on the islands, Gosport, which was fairly prosperous up until about 1778, when the Islanders were evacuated to Rye, New Hampshire due to the Revolutionary War. The islands were then largely abandoned until the middle of the 19th century, when a popular summer hotel opened on Appledore Island. Currently, the only inhabitants are a Unitarian church retreat, and scientific research camp.

Having never been on a sailboat, it was quite an experience covering those 7 miles and back again. We were on such a beautiful 30-foot sailboat that I am shocked I didn’t get a single picture of the boat itself.

Isle of Shoals, Maine…9772/





Travel: Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire

Friday, 18 August 2006

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spent the day with my godparents, out on their boat!

Portsmouth’s harbor is on the Piscataqua River, the third fastest-flowing navigable river in the world. the harbor, arguably the finest in New England, is dominated by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, located across the river on Seavey’s Island in Kittery, Maine.

we went up river (against that aforementioned 3rd fastest current in the world) and had some steller sandwiches under the “middle” bridge. giving up the fight, we went back downstream to a big muckity-muck yacht club by the old Wentworth resort and picked out our own personal “post-lottery winnings” yacht.

It was a wonderful day!

Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire…5490/





Travel: Flying near Baltimore, Maryland

Thursday, 17 August 2006


went up to new england to visit family, flying out of BWI. quite a hike, but good fares… and a gorgeous sunset to boot.

Flying near Baltimore, Maryland…0966/